Josh Allen absolutely clowned on his fellow AFC East quarterbacks while recruiting Von Miller last March
On more than a few occasions this NFL season, the AFC East race did not appear like it would play out the way we all thought it would - with Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills easily taking the top spot for the third straight season and officially planting their flag as the new AFC East juggernaut. The new-look Miami Dolphins, and the much-improved New York Jets, both had something to say about that. Even the New England Patriots, despite a slow start, crept back into the fold before Thanksgiving.
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But, as any NFL fan knows, things don't get truly serious until after Turkey Day, and since then the Bills and Allen have gotten extremely serious, ripping off six straight including the Thanksgiving win over the Detroit Lions. In the process they moved to 12-3, easily clinching the division. Meanwhile, the once high-flying Dolphins have come crashing back to earth, as have the Jets and Patriots, all of whom have had issues at the quarterback position. The Dolphins with Tua Tagovailoa, who will miss Week 17 with another concussion, the Jets with Zach Wilson, who may go down as the worst No. 2 overall pick ever, and the Patriots with Mac Jones, once assumed to be their next Tom Brady who has looked anything but in 2022.
The Bills have no such issues, now or for the forseeable future, something Allen is well aware of in a non-cocky way. Though he did more or less predict this last March, as first reported in a story by The Athletic's senior NFL writer Kalyn Kahler. As Kahler wrote on Twitter, Allen was playing golf during the off-season last March with current backup Matt Barkley, who served as Allen's backup from 2018 to 2020, then played for three different teams in 2021 before becoming a fee agent. The Bills' general manager, Brandon Beane called Allen during the round and asked if he could recruit Von Miller, who was coming off a Super Bowl victory with the L.A. Rams and was also a free agent. Allen said he'd oblige as long as Beane would sign Barkley.
As Barkley tells it, Allen then sent a three line text to Miller which read "Zach Wilson. Tua Tagovailoa. Mac Jones." The implication, Barkley said, was that Allen was telling Miller he gets to play those three quarterbacks six times a year.
If this story had come out earlier this season, you can bet the other three fanbases would be coming for Allen's head. But now? It couldn't have hit social media at a more perfect time for Allen, who now looks like a genius. Plus, it seemed to work, with Miller signing a six-year deal and looking like his former self for 11 games before he tore his ACL on Thanksgiving. Before that, he amassed eight sacks, a number he last hit in 2018, needing four extra games to do it. Hopefully, he can return to full health some time next year and continue to allow the legend of this Allen text to grow.
And in case you are wondering, yes, Beane signed Barkley, holding up his end of the deal.
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